The gallery has been updated with HD screencaps of Lili in the fourth episode of Riverdale entitled ‘Chapter Four: The Last Picture Show’. Enjoy!
On paper, Betty Cooper is a dream girl. She’s the sugar to Veronica Lodge’s spice. In the original Archie comics, she’s presented as the perfect girl next door, as sweet as apple pie and as interesting as vanilla ice cream. In prolific comics writer Mark Waid’s current Archie run, Betty is a pretty tomboy with big dreams who’s still hopelessly hung up on her best friend and ex, Archie Andrews. But The CW’s Riverdale gives us a version of Betty we haven’t seen before, one with depth and a whole lot of darkness.
Last week on the show, Betty (Lili Reinhart) went “full dark, no stars” on football player Chuck Clayton, nearly drowning him in a hot tub after losing her grip on reality. Of course, this isn’t the first time Riverdale has unleashed Dark Betty; she also snapped in Episode 2, when she threatened to kill Cheryl Blossom for making fun of her sister, Polly, who’s currently being treated in a mental hospital. The cracks in Betty’s perfect facade are worsening by the week, and the profundity of her misery is becoming clearer. This is not the Betty Cooper of yesteryear.
Reinhart chatted with MTV News about Dark Betty; the connection she shares with her soulmate, Veronica, and her best friend’s friend, Jughead; and why the last thing Betty needs is a relationship with Archie.
Betty has a lot of demons. In addition to dealing with her sister Polly’s breakdown, she’s also buckling under the weight of her mother’s excruciatingly high expectations and her own depression and anxiety. This is definitely a Betty Cooper we haven’t seen before, and it’s a type of female character we don’t see too often on television.
Lili Reinhart: I suffer from depression and anxiety, and having a show and having a character that portrays a young woman who is dealing with that and the consequences of it — how it affects her friendships and her relationships with her mom and her sister — it’s beautiful to see that. Someone who’s seemingly so perfect on the outside is very much broken on the inside and trying to piece themselves back together. That’s what Betty is doing in Season 1. She puts a lot of pressure on herself, and her mom puts a lot of pressure on her to be perfect, and it’s overwhelming for Betty. She definitely hits some breaking points. She’s just a young girl trying to navigate today’s world, and that’s hard. It’s hard for all of us.
The gallery has been updated with HD screencaps of Lili in the third episode of Riverdale entitled ‘Chapter Three: Body Double’. Enjoy the new additions!
Thanks to Neide, the gallery has been updated with HD screencaps of Lili in the second episode of Riverdale entitled ‘Chapter Two: A Touch of Evil’. Enjoy!
The gallery has been updated with HD screencaps of Lili in the first episode of Riverdale entitled ‘Chapter One: The River’s Edge’. Enjoy!
Betty Cooper, who was primarily defined in the Archie comics by her crush on Archie Andrews, is often seen as a the “girl next door.” Everything from her blonde ponytail down to her love of automotive repair made Betty a prototype for wholesome Americana as it was defined when the comics debuted in the 1940s.
But the ‘40s have long since passed, and as we all know, looks can sometimes be deceiving. Often, the “girl next door” has a lot of secrets of her own, and while it’s easy to hide behind a smile, her outward appearance doesn’t tell the whole story.
When Riverdale premieres tonight on the CW, it will give Betty that reboot that she deserves, showing audiences that there’s a multi-layered and complex girl underneath that bouncy hair and jean jacket.
For Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty, that three-dimensional transformation of these characters was extremely important. In the comics, Betty is tangled within a love triangle consisting of herself, Archie, and Veronica that, despite Betty’s friendship with Veronica, serves as a huge plot for a lot of the comics. Pitting women against each other? We’re so not here for that.
And neither is Riverdale. The show puts Betty and Veronica’s friendship front and center, pushing the love triangle off to the side. That decision was important to Lili, who tells Teen Vogue, “Our show does not focus on the rivalry and on the love triangle. These girls have other things going on in their lives besides Archie. There’s definitely a friendship there, and the friendship is strong at the end of the day. They aren’t frenemies, they aren’t rivals; they’re best friends, and they do truly care for each other.”
She adds that it’s important to honor the complex friendship between Betty and Veronica, who may fight and clash, but deep down, love one another and care for each other deeply. As anyone who has had a fight with their best friend knows, there’s nothing more relatable than that. Lili adds, “That’s beautiful and very refreshing to see on television…to not portray young women as being catty against one another. They can actually have these beautiful, strong friendships,” and notes that Betty and Veronica especially “don’t need to be pitted against each other, like they were in the comics.”